The invention of steel changed the world in more ways than one. The material allowed architects and engineers to build taller and stronger buildings, allowing more people to live and work in cities. It also helped transport systems become safer and more comfortable to use. The point is, the world would not look the way it does today if it weren’t for the versatility of steel.
The Need for Change
The SEO industry went through several changes like this in the past few years. First, we got Penguin and Panda, which we’re all still worrying about today. Then we got mobilegeddon and Pigeon last year, shifting everyone’s focus dramatically. The Burj Khalifa is only the latest in a string of earth-shaking events that keep us on our toes every month.
How can we even compare these things to steel, though? They don’t have nearly as much of an impact on daily life as the metal has. That observation is true, but it ignores several key factors in how the rise of steel happened. This kind of transformation doesn’t just happen with a mere invention or discovery, though. There are countless studies, tests, and investments that took place before anyone took notice.
Likewise, the Denver SEO services community needs to look at the tools we have, and decide if we’re still using them effectively, given what we now know. One of the things that we noticed that deserves a revisit – at the least – is how we classify search.
SEO experts classified the different ways users search for information on the Internet in three broad categories: navigational, informational, and transactional. All of the tasks webmasters do revolve around these three categories. Everything from keyword selection to content creation has some reliance on getting the classification right. But, these categories first emerged back in 2002. It’s probably time for people to ask themselves if this strategy is still effective.
If we look at search engines today, they look nothing like what they were at the start of the 00s. Google, in particular, put all its efforts into changing the search experience for users. In fact, the landscape has shifted so dramatically that what once consisted of three distinct categories now seems to be just one.
One Category to Rule Them All
Informational search is without a doubt the dominant search type today. Browsers now answer questions by actually understanding what the request is about, instead of just matching words. They even attempt to answer queries as soon as possible. We’ve already talked about the development and advantages of the Knowledge Graph in past posts. If you want to learn more about how a Denver SEO company can help you with that, feel free to read through it here.
There are signs, however, that Google isn’t satisfied with just that. There are instances when the browser suggests the answer before the user is even done typing the question.
It’s no longer necessary to actually click on a website to get needed information, which is great for users, but not for websites. This shift in how people expect to get their information has also made its way to tech developers. The surge of digital assistants like Siri, Cortana, and Google Now is evidence of how people prefer to find answers.
What does all of this mean for us? At the very least it should be a sign that the basis for many of our current strategies no longer apply. Do we need to create new categories for search? Probably not, but we do need to recognize the new roles they play, and how we can take advantage.